Celtics

Celtics vs. 76ers Overreactions: Kemba back to his old self?

Celtics

The Boston Celtics lost their second straight game Wednesday night as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers, 117-109.

Joel Embiid (42 points) was simply too much for Boston to handle, and Tobias Harris was a problem as well with 22 points of his own.

Celtics-76ers highlights: C's can't keep Embiid off the free-throw line in loss

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart led the way for the Celtics with 26 and 25 points respectively. Daniel Theis stepped up off the bench with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to earn the victory.

Here are three instant overreactions to the C's loss, which brings them to 8-5:

1. Kemba Walker is back to his old self.

Walker's second game back went far better than his first. The All-Star point guard made the most of his limited time on the court, finishing with 19 points (6-for-15, 5-for-9 from 3) and six assists in 22 minutes.

Walker was red-hot in the first half but sat in the third quarter before re-entering the game in the fourth, when he was not quite as effective. Still, it was encouraging to see the 30-year-old looking like he's back to 100 percent.

We'll need to see more of the first-half Kemba we watched Wednesday night before we can say the knee ailment is behind him.

Verdict: Overreaction

2. Daniel Theis needs to play the five more often.

Theis came off the bench to produce by far his best game of the season for the C's. He ended up with 23 points (10-for-12) and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes and showed he's far more effective when played at the five rather than the four, which has been the case with the two-big lineup.

 

Theis also showed plenty of chemistry with Walker when he was on the floor. The pair connected on multiple occasions during the contest.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

3. Celtics still don't have an answer for Joel Embiid.

That's an understatement. The 76ers' star big man went to the free-throw line a ridiculous 21 times in Wednesday night's game and hit 17 of his free-throw shots to finish with 42 points. That's going to result in a loss a lot more often than not.

Simply put, that isn't going to cut it. The Celtics will need much more on the defensive end from Tristan Thompson and the rest of the cast if they're to limit Embiid in Friday night's rematch.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Tip-off for Friday night's Celtics-Sixers game is set for 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston.